Albion will have a development squad next season under a new coach, to bridge the gap between scholars and players ready for the first team.

It follows the decision by the Seagulls to give professional contracts to six of their eight second-year scholars, including Lewis Dunk, who made his first team debut at MK Dons on Saturday.

Manager Gus Poyet revealed to The Argus: “We are trying to do things a little bit different for next year. We are going to have a different set-up “That is why there are going to be more bodies than normal, a development squad in-between the under 18's and the first team.

“At the moment, players leaving the under 18's are supposed to be professional and just training with the first team.

“Most of them are not ready for that, so they need to have another year or maybe two in an in-between group and there is going to be a new coach for that.

“I cannot take into the squad players that are not ready, because the difference is massive. That in-between group, still with a reserve team, is going to be very important for the future of the club.”

Albion will also be selective about which clubs they use for loaning out players from the development group.

Poyet said: “That is something we are going to have to very careful with, because we want them to really play the way that we play and understand the way we want to play.

“If it is the right club yes but not anywhere, because at the end of the day it is not about playing football, it's about them playing the football we want them to play. There is a big difference.”